Logistics as a Competitive Weapon

Sarita A


Logistics and its history: the administration at the end of the twentieth century manifested important and transcendental changes, these changes have been a consequence of the so-called process of globalization and the dizzying speed of development of the new society, which is affected by socio-cultural elements that require a constant process of decision making in various fields of management. To deal with this new reality, several tools emerge. Among these, retake the concept of logistics, and the development of supply chain management.

If we go back through time it may be noted that logistics as such did not arise a couple of years ago as might be believed. Although the Logistics had its origins in the military world, this one goes back to century VII before Christ. At that time, in Greece, in the military field was "Logístiko", mainly responsible for determining the amount of supplies that would be needed to advance according to the plans.

Therefore, this logistiko in the first instance was only a calculator. Subsequently, in the second century after Christ, approximately in Roman times, the "Logista" arose, whose mission was to provide the necessary supplies to the troops. But this activity included not only supplying the required quantities, but also finding the best sources of supply (suppliers) and delivering them to the relevant units. Thus, over time, logistics was positioned at an operational, tactical and strategic level in the world of militia. A product of the good results generated by this activity within the militia is that the business world decided to import the concept and apply it.

In its principles, logistics was nothing more than having the right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the lowest possible cost, nowadays this set of activities have been redefined and nowadays they are a whole process. In the 1950s, logistics became more important because of the transition of more developed countries from an economy characterized by excess demand to an over-supplied economy.

Supply Logistics
Supply Logistics

Logistics management.

Logistics is the art of delivering customer requirements on time, while supply chain management is the process of integrating the activities of companies involved in the production of a product (good or service) in order to obtain value for all, including the final consumer.

Supply chain management requires that parties in the supply / manufacturing / distribution chain cooperate in program design and sharing of information. This requires that the data shared beyond the boundaries of the organization, and even, within the company itself, be timely and truthful. What forces the ethical management of organizations that adopt this philosophy.

Importance of logistics and supply chains as a competitive weapon.

According to Ballou (2004), logistics revolve around creating value: value for customers and suppliers of the company, and value for the shareholders of the company. The value in logistics is expressed primarily in terms of time and place. Products and services have no value unless they are in the possession of customers (when) time and (where) place they wish to consume them. For example, tickets to a sporting event will have no value for customers but are available at the time and place where the event occurs. Or if inadequate inventories do not meet the demands of the fans.

A good logistics management visualizes each activity in the supply chain as a contribution to the process of adding value. If you can only add little value, you can question whether such activity should exist, however, they add value when customers prefer to pay more for a product or service than it costs to put it in their hands. For many reasons, for many companies around the world, logistics have become increasingly important as they add value. (p.13).

Nowadays logistics is given by the need to improve customer service, improving the marketing and transportation phase at the lowest possible cost, also highlighting the importance of adequate management in the development of some activities that are deployed from logistics management in a company, to obtain the following improvements:

  • The increase in production lines.
  • Efficiency in production, reaching high levels
  • Fewer inventories in the distribution chain
  • Information Systems Development
  • JIT (Just In Time) Strategies
Supply Routes
Supply Routes

Where these improvements in an organization bring the following benefits:

  • Increasing competitiveness and improving the profitability of companies to meet the challenge of globalization.
  • Optimum coordination of all the factors that influence the purchase decision: quality, reliability, price, packaging, distribution, protection, service.  
  • Expansion of the managerial vision to turn logistics into a model, a framework, a mechanism for planning internal and external activities of the company.
  • Expansion of the managerial vision to turn logistics into a model, a framework, a mechanism for planning internal and external activities of the company....

Operations, marketing, finance and accounting are the basic functions of any organization. However, today it is important to note that implementing a good business logistics management is so evident that companies create departments within their organizations to improve their logistics and give way to a modern logistics, which has become through time and in the XXI century in a basic aspect in its unbridled idea of being the leading company in the market and the world. Therefore a perfectly designed logistics project is the most strategic tool to compete in the current demanding market, achieving customer loyalty, overcoming the barriers and opening new gaps for our company; provided that this is done under the eye of the most ethical and socially responsible way while satisfying the demands of the market.

If you want different results, do not do the same.
- Albert Einstein -


Ballou, R. H. (2004).Logística: Administración de la cadena de suministro.(5ª Ed.). México: Prentice hall.

Carranza, O & Sabría, F. (2004). Logística: Mejores prácticas en Latinoamérica. México: Editorial Thomson.

Christopher, Martin (1998). Logistics and supply chain management: Strategies for reducing costs and improving services. London: Financial Times Pitman.